Bosch today announced that its PowerTube 500 batteries would be coming to US bikes. As the name implies, these are 500Wh batteries that will be integrated into the down tubes of bikes by manufacturers. As Bosch is the leading supplier of high-end ebike powertrains, the news will likely signal a shift to a more integrated look for “bike shop” quality ebikes.
We took a close look at the Trek Supercommuter 8 last year which integrated Bosch’s previous battery design, however Trek made a pretty huge effort to design the bike around the bulkier rectangular battery. Now with the longer thinner design, first showcased in Europe last year, bike manufacturers will be able to hide the battery in the down tube much more easily, like Bosch’s competitors.
Bosch, who builds whole battery/motor/controller powertrains and then sells proprietary systems to high-end bike makers at premium prices, takes a different approach than most manufacturers. It allows companies like Trek to focus on making the bike bits and outsource the “e” bits to Bosch who takes full ownership of the propulsion, including warranty, and guarantees to be around for a long time.
Specialized, who specs their own “in-house” gear for their bikes, offers an integrated, slightly larger 604Wh batteries. Giant does something similar although with smaller 500wH batteries.